According to Reuters, Winfrey bought a 10 percent stake in Weight Watchers, or about 6.4 million shares at Friday's closing price of $6.79 a share, a total of $43.4 million. She has the option to buy an additional 5 percent stake. Winfrey will also help further the company's health and wellness initiatives, both through joining the program herself and becoming a board member and advisor to the company. Weight Watchers didn't respond to requests for comment.
Logan pointed out that Winfrey's history of talking about her weight struggles only made the Weight Watchers deal make more sense.
"One of the core words of her brand is authenticity," he said. "She's doing this from a place of authenticity. She's engaged her lifelong battle with weight, and she knows she's not the only one."
Even though Winfrey has a net worth of $3 billion, her candid nature still makes her accessible to the mainstream public and a valuable marketing tool.
"Unlike other brands like Apple or Starbucks, those brands are not people," Logan said. "Those brands are symbols, and have an identity that has been built by individuals. We have a huge advantage (with Oprah's brand) because Oprah feels from her heart where she wants to be. That allows us the ability to create opportunities to connect with people."
That's exactly what branding experts say Weight Watchers and investors are hoping to tap into. As Weight Watchers attempts to shift into a trendy healthy lifestyle focus from a passe dieting service, it will need someone relatable to help usher its new direction.
"Her brand has always been about empathy, and recently it's been really kind of focused on spirituality and self-help," said Geoff Cook, founder and partner of branding agency Base Design N.Y. "Her target audience is really about that, and they're in their late 40s, which is about Weight Watcher's sweet spot."